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In Pictures: OrganicKidz bottles billed as a safer alternative to plastic

Founder Jane Walter wonders whether to go big or possibly lose ground to her competitors

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Jane Walter, founder and CEO of Calgary-based OrganicKidz, in her office with some of the eco-friendly baby bottles the company manufactures. A former schoolteacher, she set out in 2008 to make a stainless-steel baby bottle as a toxin-free alternative to the plastic variety. The bottles are shatterproof and convertible to sippy cups when baby is ready.

Todd Korol/The Globe and Mail

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A baby eats from a Cheery food container made by OrganicKidz. The thermal vessel is designed to keep hot foods hot or cold foods cold.

OrganicKidz

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To create the stainless-steel bottles, as OrganicKidz founder and CEO Jane Walter explains it, stainless steel pipe is cut to lengths, then separated to form bottle shapes. The company's factory is in China. Since the company's founding, sales of its bottles have grown into the tens of thousands, garnered the attention of Oprah Winfrey’s magazine and been named by NBC’s The Today Show as one of the top baby products of 2012.

OrganicKidz

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The thermal baby bottles require two layers of steel. To create that, each bottle must be vacuum-sealed. Today, OrganicKidz is trying to grow beyond its signature product to include other items, such as nursing covers and food containers.

OrganicKidz

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Bottles are checked for leaks before they proceed down the processing line. OrganicKidz’s products can be found in more than 600 babies’ and children’s stores – the so-called ‘juvenile market’ – around the world. But founder Ms. Walter would like to expand to gift shops, organic boutiques and natural food stores across North America. The company’s nursing covers are sold in some Target stores.

OrganicKidz

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All bottles are polished to give them a shiny, smooth finish. Ms. Walter says that her biggest fear is that, if she ignores other markets, emerging competitors selling similar eco-friendly products will beat her to the punch. But the U.S. market is also crowded and daunting.

OrganicKidz

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Silk screening is used to add designs to the bottles.

OrganicKidz

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OrganicKidz also makes food containers, and its bottle caps can double as snack cups.

OrganicKidz

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Organickidz was asked to donate bottles to clinics in Haiti that support the Infant Malnutrition Alleviation Program because their products are naturally bacteria-resistant and unbreakable.

OrganicKidz

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Ms. Walter wonders: Should OrganicKidz focus on the market it knows best, or reach new ones before competitors do?

Todd Korol/The Globe and Mail

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